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STS-121 CONTINUE THEIR PURSUIT TO ISS DOCKING



SUBMITTED BY ARTHUR N1ORC - AMSAT A/C #31468


Space Shuttle Discovery and the STS-121 crew continue their pursuit of 
the International Space Station. Discovery is slated to dock with the 
station at 10:52 a.m. EDT Thursday.

In addition to preparing for Discovery’s linkup with the station, the 
STS-121 crewmembers will use shuttle’s robotic arm today to inspect the 
heat shield. Other activities for today include configuring spacesuits 
for the mission’s spacewalks.

STS-121 will also deliver a new Expedition 13 crew member, Thomas 
Reiter, to the station and replace critical hardware needed for future 
assembly of the complex. Reiter is a member of the European Space Agency 
who will spend the next six months on the station.

Much of the cargo heading to the station is inside Leonardo 
multi-purpose logistics module, which is located inside the shuttle 
payload bay.

Meanwhile on the ground, engineers continue to review launch imagery and 
radar and sensor data. The data collected on launch day and by the crew 
in orbit will be used to determine if re-entry into Earth’s atmosphere 
will be safe for Discovery.

At an evening press conference Tuesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in 
Florida, Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale reported that the 
external tank's performance was greatly improved during the Independence 
Day launch of Space Shuttle Discovery.
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